2012
NASSAU COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIPS PREVIEW
                                                2012
              NASSAU COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIPS PREVIEW
                                By Jim & Tony Nordland

   
Defending team champion Wantagh has been impeccable in dual competition this season and  finished a perfect 22-0, they are the top-ranked mat squad in the state. The Warriors crowned eight Qualifying champions and advanced 18 wrestlers to the county meet, they will be tough to beat. They are led by unbeaten freshman Jose Rodriguez (38-0) at 99 and a trio of returning county placers including finalist Dan McDevitt (36-5) at 138, along with Chris Araoz (36-5) at 120 and Vinny Turano (33-5) in the 126-pound class. Other standouts include Kyle Quinn (28-6) at 106, Chris Loew (35-5) at 170 and Alex Wedell at 182 pounds.

      MacArthur
was the team runner-up last year and has the firepower to pose a strong challenge as they garnered six individual Qualifying titles and will send 14 wrestlers to the championships. The Generals are paced by county bronze medalist Justin Cooksey (36-3) at 106 and the Cataldo brothers; Chris (120) and Joe (39-4), a Nassau finalist at 160. Other champions include Michael Coiro (99), Rob Bennett (29-9) at 132 and Steven Schneider (37-3) at 152 pounds.

 
  Long Beach boasts a strong tournament team and returns three All-State matmen; Krishna Sewkumar (33-5), a returning county champ at 106, along with a pair of unbeatens- and potential state champions - finalist Mark Raghunandan (38-0) at 113 and two-time state placer Dylan Palacio (33-0) at 160 pounds. Other standouts for the Marines are Qualifying winners; Steven Sewkumar (99), Oral Allen (34-9) at 120, Fred Medina (126) and Liam Fitzpatrick at 152, along with 15 county qualifiers.

     Massapequa
crowned five Qualifying champions and advanced 14 grapplers to the county meet. The Chiefs have potential champion with Justin Paradiso (30-3) at 132 along with county medalist Joe Doria (26-3), a junior at 106. Other titlists were Chris Broccoli (138), Neal Vespa (145) and Tim Gungor (285). Also vying for county honors will be Jake Spero (28-6) and Andrew Hoffman (27-4) at 152 pounds.

     Plainedge
finished third at the 2011 county meet and again could be near the top of the team standings.The Red Devils had six tournament winners along with 16 qualifiers, including unbeaten Dan Spurgeon (42-0) at 170 and defending county champion Andrew Jones (36-3) at 182 pounds. Both are potential state champions. Other titlists were Hector Guerrero (99), Matt Ishak (120), county placer Connor Sullivan (126) and Brendan Day at 152 pounds.

     Other top teams appear to be
Freeport, Uniondale, Farmingdale, East Meadow, Syosset, Baldwin, Mepham, Garden City and Bellmore JFK.

     Uniondale
has three potential finalists with Davion Porter (32-1) at 195, Andrew Cole (34-1) at 220 and Dante Salkey (32-2) at 285. East Meadow has Mike Tropiano (29-5) at 152 and Evan Pantofel (31-1) at 170 pounds. Syosset's county bronze medalist Evan Kappatos (38-0) is state-ranked and is a favorite at 285 pounds. The Braves also have OSW winner Doug Randino (33-6) at 106. Baldwin has Quinn Knauer (36-8) at 138 and highly-regarded Dylan Cohen (45-1) at 145 pounds. Mepham has outstanding lightweight with Jamie Dunn (27-7) at 106. Freeport looks to Edgar O'Campo (99), Kearney Gutierrez (113), Maurice Irby (24-2) at 132 and Errol Small at 170. Garden City has two possible county finalists; Mike Lofrese (35-3) a county runner-up in 2011, is top-seeded at 126, and Matt Schmelzinger (24-4) at 145. Farmingdale has Harrison Rosen at 170. BJFK has defending county champion Robert Person (33-1) at 113 pounds. Roslyn's John Lanzillotti (33-1) was runner-up last year and is ranked #1 at 120 pounds.

A quick glance at a few of the weight classes:

106 pounds- The favorite here is top-seeded Justin Cooksey (36-3) of MacArthur. His top bracket challengers are Jamie Dunn (27-7) of Mepham and Syosset's Doug Rondino (33-6), they could meet in the quarterfinals. Lodged into the bottom bracket is Wantagh's second-seeded Kyle Quinn (28-6), he could meet LB's Krishna Sewkumar in an interesting quarterfinal battle. Other top contenders are Joe Doria (26-3) of Massapequa and third-seeded Rocco Candela (24-2) of Oceanside.

138 pounds- County finalist Dan McDevitt (36-5)of Wantagh is top-ranked and could meet either Chris Broccoli (Mass) or Jared Delin (Syosset) on his path to the finals. Bottom bracket challengers are Davon Russell (Uniondale) who could meet Baldwin's Quinn Knauer (36-8) in the quarterfinals. Others seeking the gold medal match are third-seeded Dave Amann (Clarke), Lucas Panebianco (ITrees) and the Chiefs' Jake Spero (28-6) in this wide open field of matmen.

    
In the Division II Championships, look for Locust Valley and Oyster Bay to battle for the team title. Locust Valley has top-seeded Nick Casella (99), the Dusold brothers; Hunter (106) and Mike (145), along with Jordan Formicola at 160. Oyster Bay points to Jack Leguelaff (113), top-seeded Ryan Arnel at 126, Cody Exum (138) and Rob Morgan at 170 pounds.

SCHEDULE:
Saturday, Feb. 11th @ David S. Mack Sports Complex @ Hofstra

   10:00 AM - Preliminaries and Quarterfinals

Sunday, Feb. 12th                                  Sunday, Feb. 12th
    9:00 AM - Semi-Finals                           1:00 PM - Binghamton vs
   12:00 PM - Consolations                                         Hofstra @ PFC
     3:30 PM - Division II Finals
     6:45 PM-  Division I Finals

Congratulations to all the competitors, enjoy your Nassau County
                             
Championships, win or lose...
                                            



                                                 

Jose Rodriguez (99) from Wantagh.
Chris Loew (170) from Wantagh.
Justin Cooksey (106) from MacArthur.
Krishna Sewkumar of Long Beach Battles Joe Doria of Massapequa at 106.
Justin Paradiso of Massapequa at 132.
Dan Spurgeon of Plainedge at 170.
Evan Kappatos of Syosset at 285.
Rob Person of BJFK at 113.